Gracie, Dave and the God of Dogs

by Sophie Clarke. Winner of the Best Chapter Book for 5-8-year-olds competition 2024


The all seeing, all sniffing God of Dogs thinks he knows everything about hooman and dog relations, but he doesn’t know why nine-year-old Gracie is sad, or what Dave the dachshund can do about it. They’ve tried EVERYTHING to make Gracie happy: the slobberlick strategy, super cuddle-snuffles, etc. But nothing seems to work. To make his hooman happy, Dave might have to take matters into his own paws, which the God of Dogs doesn’t like at all…

Chapter One

BEHOLD, measly mortal childpup!

TREMBLE at my paws!

Be AFRAID, be very afraid.

For I am the God of Dogs. I am the chewer of the slippers of the universe, I am the piddler on the lamppost of the past, and I am the licker of the face of fate. I know all, sniff all. You will LOVE me, you will FEAR me, and−

Excuse me, WHAT? You’re saying: ‘I’ve seen squirrels scarier than you’? That’s RUDE. I’m a GOD, for gooddog’s sake. That makes me scary just from my title. And for your information, squirrels can be extremely scary, thank you very much. Just ask my immortal enemy, the God of Squirrels.

Huh? Say that again. Did you just say, ‘Meh, I don’t care what you are?’


Wait a minute. If you don’t care who I am, then why have you picked up MY book, hmm? ANSWER ME THAT, HOOMANFLUFF! Why have you decided to spend your carefully begged cash on my warning to hoomans everywhere?

‘Because there’s a sausage dog on the front cover,’ you say.

Ah. Of course. You mean Dave. Dave who ruined my reputation. Dave whose foul deeds sent me shooting all the way to the back of the dinner heap. Dave, who has spread doubt amongst my loyal followers, who I trusted and who made me look SO STUPID in front of all the other gods.

Curse you, Dave.


Let me tell you about DAVE the DASTARDLY (or you may call him Dave the Despicable, Dangerous Dave or Dave the Downright Depraved. Take your pick).

Beware of Dave. He is a mini dachshund (a.k.a. a little sausage dog) with fur as black as the dark dark night and little caramel brown splodges around his paws, tummy and nose. His eyes are black−like his soul. And his ears are around the same size as his puny brainless head.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ‘Sounds cute!’